Marconi announces North American DWDM partnership with IRIS Networks

Sept. 19, 2001--Marconi, a global provider of communications solutions, announced a partnership with IRIS Networks to provide high-speed optical connectivity to communities across the mid-southern United States.

Marconi (London and NASDAQ: MONI), a global provider of communications solutions, announced a multi-million-dollar partnership with IRIS Networks to provide high-speed optical connectivity to communities across the mid-southern United States, including Tennessee and Alabama.

IRIS, a consortium of 11 independent telephone companies, selected Marconi solutions in order to increase its bandwidth and upgrade traditional routes with an optical portfolio that is entirely scaleable, while enabling better value for broadband services.

Under the agreement, Marconi will deploy its SmartPhotoniX DWDM solution for IRIS using its PLX product family, which is optimized for 10Gbits/s transmission and is expandable up to 160 wavelengths -- yielding a total transmission capacity of 1.6Tbits/s. Initially, IRIS will have channel capacity at 2.5Gbits/s; however, the flexibility of the PLX product family will allow IRIS to quickly upgrade its capacity to 10Gbits/s.

The increased capacity will allow IRIS to meet demand requirements in its key markets, such as Nashville, Chattanooga and Huntsville, without affecting the traffic already being carried.

IRIS increases its capabilities with the Marconi solution by overlaying Marconi's DWDM solution on the existing IRIS SONET-based fiber ring infrastructure. It will enable broadband services, such as a faster Internet, Video On Demand and multimedia content. Using Marconi's DWDM equipment, IRIS Networks will initially have the capability of carrying 40 protected 10Gbits/s channels.

Marconi's DWDM solution solves the problem of over-using fiber. DWDM replaces time-division multiplexing (TDM) as an effective optical transmission method.

This win represents Marconi's first major DWDM win in North America. This contract adds to other recent major optical networking wins by Marconi. The company has announced agreements with BT for the supply of DWDM equipment, which will be used to build Europe's most advanced all-optical network, as well as orders from Telecom Italia, Fibernet (Germany), Telfort (Netherlands), Belgacom (Belgium) and Finnet Group of Finland.

About Marconi plc:

Marconi plc delivers communications solutions designed to transform communications networks. For more information, visit www.marconi.com.

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